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    War Diary: 102nd Anti Tank Regiment

    Month and year: September 1944

    The 102nd Anti Tank Regiment September 1944 war diary covers the units advance from Le Bosquel, France across Belgium into the Netherlands.

    National Archive Reference: WO 171/929

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    Page 1 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    1Remained in same location.
    289 Bty under comd Rear Div Gp for movement and in sp for defensive coln.
    288 Bty move to area 0241 LE BOSQUEL arriving 1300 hrs. Later move through
    AMIENS to area 157612. One Tp of 288 Bty move. at 2300 hrs with 2 Devons
    relieve Gds Armd Div in ARRAS.
    2107 Bty - Pte SHAW J 2195138 (ACC) crushed by a three-tonner against
    the trailer and killed.
    107 Bty take 200 prisoners near PAS EN ARTOISE.
    289 Bty at CEMEUSE.
    288 Bty less one Tp move off at 0600 to ARRAS. Arrive ARRAS 0930 hrs.
    231 Bde with 288 Bty in sp push on from ARRAS behind Gds Armd Div with
    all possible speed.
    3The Crusader had a lot of trouble during the move. It skidded into a
    ditch and Gm ARMSTRONG was thrown off and broke a leg.
    2230 hrs. Approaching ANNOEULIN 599251. At cross roads 599252 the M.14,
    Office 3-tonner and Officers Mess 15-cwt go straight on instead of turning
    right. They run into enemy position which they are holding covering the
    bridge at DON 590277. The M.14 is hit by 88 mm and the two following
    vehicles riddled by small arms fire. A good deal of the Div HQ Column is
    halted on the road ANNOEULIN - ALLENES while the recce parties who had been
    called forward from the head of the coln at very short notice, try to get
    their vehicles dispersed. At 0030 hrs we are all in less the three trucks
    mentioned above. While we were wondering what could have happened Lieut
    MARRIOTT met Gnr GIDDINGS his batman who had been on the M. 14 and who had
    escaped and found his way back.
    Page 2 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    3 contdAt 0145 hrs a party of six carriers from Cheshires was laid on to go back
    to cross roads at 599252 and to endeavour to get down DON road to our
    vehicles. A Tp of 6-prs from 107 Bty went in sp. This party was unable
    to get to our vehicles and took up positions in village in order to prevent
    the enemy coming up from DON.
    289 Bty leave CENEUSE and arrive at SANCHY having passed through ARRAS.
    Bty Ech take 20 prisoners in neighbourhood CENEUSE.
    231 Bde with 288 Bty in sp leave ARRAS area at 1100 hrs, pocket of enemy
    encountered near SECLIN. 2 Devons and one Tp 288 Bty detailed to deal
    with enemy. One Tp had some shooting and one 6-pr knocked out two large
    Troop Carriers with two shots (30 Boche killed).
    1600 hrs. BHQ of 288 Bty cross BELGIUM frontier.
    2100 hrs. 288 Bty reached 415387 approximately 15 miles from BRUSSELS.
    4107 Bty. Lt VG WHITE (304281) killed in action while recceing positions
    in area DON 5927 in an endeavour to find gun positions to. sp Cheshire
    carriers trying to get forward to our three burnt-out vehicles.
    RHQ in area 213255. 107 Bty deployed round area with a TP supporting
    Cheshire carriers in village of ANNOEULIN 2425.
    HQRA and Div HQ shelled at about mid- day. About 40 shells dropped in
    their area which was just North of cross roads 260258.
    From our area we had a good view of the shelling, from a position about
    200 yards plus.
    At about 0600 hrs Lt MARRIOTT went to cross-roads at 599252 to contact
    Tp of 107 Bty and Cheshire carriers. He went on a recce down the road
    towards DON and nearly reached our vehicles at 590269. He was unable get to
    right to them unobserved, however, and was forced to return.
    Page 3 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    4 contdMain Div move to area LAMAIN just across BELGIAN frontier.
    289 Bty move from SANCHY and arrive CYSOING.
    288 Bty despatch one section of M.10 Tp to lead Corps HQ into BRUSSELS as
    road was not thought to be cleared of enemy.
    Lieut M. DAVIES led the M.10 Section was the first officer of the regt into
    1430 hrs. Main body of 288 Bty entered BRUSSELS and spent remainder of day
    organizing anti-tank defence of BRUSSELS. One OR of 288 Bty wounded.
    5It is now definitely established that the following casualties occurred at
    DON on the night 3/4 Sep when three of our trucks took the wrong road :-
    Killed: 327099 W/Sgt HUMBLE F
    557475 W/Bdr COLDWELL
    J 1077045 W/Bdr McCARTER J.L.
    4868774 Gnr BOOTH,
    D1154052 Gnr LOCK, H.
    324619 Pte JOHNSTON D (ACC)
    All buried in cemetery of village of DON. France & Belgium 1/50,000 Sheet 63 M.R. 590274.
    912067 W/Sgt(AC) FIRTH G.S.
    327171 L/Bdr COX, J.
    1528098 Gnr DUNN A.H.
    1135971 Dvr/Op WAINWRIGHT J.K.
    An attack was put in on the position by 6 D.L.I. and by 1130 hrs they had
    cleared the village of DON.
    Sgt FIRTH who had been wounded on night 3/4 Sep had been hidden in a French
    house until the arrival of DLI this morning when he was produced and
    Page 4 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    5 contdThe three vehicles and trailer were completely burnt out.
    289 Bty remain deployed in area CYSOING.
    One Tp 288 Bty leave BRUSSELS with 2 Devons en route for ANTWERP in sp
    11 Armd Div.
    6Main Div move to
    107 Bty revert to 151 Bde and move to area of BRUSSELS where they receive
    a terrific welcome. Bty deployed covering roads to South and S.E. of city.
    289 Bty move with Rear Div Gp from area CYSOING to area DENDERWINDEKE.
    289 Bty lose CRUSADER BLR with a piston through cylinder head.
    0930 hrs. 288 Bty in sp 231 Bde leave BRUSSELS and advance on ANTWERP.
    ANTWERP reached and positions occupied by 1800 hrs. Enemy shelling South
    part of ANTWERP from North bank of SCHELDE.
    7At 0900 hrs HQRA ask for recce parties forthwith and say we shall be
    moving at 1030. At 1045 RHQ moves to area 6481 which was changed en
    route to area MALINES 7075. Area altered again on move to 8678. Arrive
    new location at 1630 hrs MR 862785 (50 miles).
    Two towed Btys of 73 A TK come under our comd at 1000 hrs but on arrival
    at new location we found they had reverted back to their regtl control
    so Lt MARRIOTT goes off to find 289 Bty and to bring them up (1700 hrs).
    At 1730 hrs it is found out that 289 Bty are on move with Rear Div Gp to
    a new area so May BARNETT goes off to contact them while C.O. has a look
    round our present area with a view to deploying 289 Bty when they arrive.
    Recce party from 289 Bty arrived at 1845 hrs - Bty arrives at 1945 hrs
    and deploys. Starting at about 1700 hrs 69 Bde Gp with 99 Bty under comd
    pass through our area en route for HERENTHALS to establish bridgehead over MEUSE/ESCAUT CANAL
    Page 5 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    7 contdCivilians report surrounding woods "full" of Boche.
    231 Bde with 288 Bty are in ANTWERP.
    289 Bty captured 40 prisoners during move up.
    231 Bde with 288 Bty in sp pass to under comd 7 Armd Div.
    8151 Bde with 107 Bty move out of BRUSSELS and arrive in area HERSELT prior
    to establishing bridgehead over ESCAUT CANAL (GHEEL area).
    RHQ with Main Div Gp and 239 Bty (now under Regtl comd) move to area AVERBODE.
    Great welcome is received in AVERBODE where the Mayor delivered an address
    of welcome to our Colonel.
    Recce parties of 158 Inf Bde arrive in ANTWERP prior to relieving 231 Bde.
    9One Bn 151 Bde cross ESCAUT CANAL - one Tp of 107 Bty cross in sp.
    Enemy reactions fierce. 107 Bty lose carrier by direct hit from mortar.
    RHQ and Main Div Gp and 289 Bty remain in AVERBODE.
    231 Bde with 288 Bty in sp relieved by 158 Inf Bde (53 Div) and 231 Bde
    concentrate in area 6591.
    1099 Bty - 042844 1500 hrs
    107 Bty - 070826 1520 hrs
    288 Bty - 983766 1500 hrs
    151 Bde having a hard time in GHEEL bridgehead with 107 Bty insp. Enemy SP
    shelling Class 9 bridge. Recce carried out by 107 Bty to try and locate SP.
    See Appx 'A' att for account of operations of
    107 Bty casualties: Gnr MEDDINGS (killed) Sgt BULLOCK (killed).
    1400 hrs. Attack on GHEEL by 151 Bde.
    107 Bty in GHEEL bridgehead 8 - 12 Sep
    Page 6 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    10 contd289 Bty play a game of soccer against AVERBODE and draw one goal each.
    Tremondous crowd watch match - great enthusiasm.
    231 Bde with 288 Bty in sp at one hours notice to move all day.
    111240 hrs. 107 location 063849.
    1715 hrs. " " 047845.
    M.10 Tp of 289 Bty move up to this side of ALBERT CANAL to support
    69 Bde. 0330 hrs Tp heavily shelled and suffer three casualties - all
    231 Bde with 288 Bty in sp leave ANTWERP area and take over protection
    of BEERINGEN bridge (2375).
    Bridge attacked by enemy bombers without result.
    12107 Bty. 070789.
    99 Bty. 090735.
    289 Bty. AVERBODE.
    M.10 Tp returns from supporting 69 Bde and concentrate with the Bty in
    area AVERBODE.
    288 Bty remain with 231 Bde protecting bridge at BEERINGEN.
    Field Marshal B.L. MONTGOMERY KCB DSO visits bridge during day.
    Bridge attacked by enemy jet-propelled aircraft without result.
    Page 7 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    13RHQ moved from village of AVERBODE 069736 to area of BRELAUR 183745. Left
    AVERBODE at 0945 and arrived now location at 1030 was distance 15 miles.
    D Bty who were deployed round RHQ area in AVERBODE moved with Div HQ column
    to new area.
    The Regt now had all Btys close together again for the first time since the
    "persuit began. The Division is to follow up Gds Armd Div who established
    a bridgehead at BEERINGEN 234750. 231 Bde with 'C' Bty are at present
    holding the bridgehead prior to going forward mopping up as they go
    tomorrow. 'C' Btys location is 238768.
    69 Bde moved to this area at 0700 hrs this morning with 99 Bty in sp
    and 99 Bty are now in area 210750.
    151 Bde after their considerable action during the last few days in GHEEL
    bridgehead moved also to this area behind 69 Bde. 107 Bty are with them
    and are located at 207748 (Pael).
    This evening about 1730 hrs Majors Balfour, Komrower and Masters and Capt
    Brameld visited RHQ.
    107 Bty are very short of personnel and after recent losses are down to a
    strength of 122. C.O. decided today to make them up a bit by taking one
    NCO and two men from 99Bty, one NCO and five from 288 Bty and one NCO and
    three from 289 Bty.
    289 Bty HQ is at map ref 180741.
    Two new M.10s 3 were delivered to the Regt today at AVERBODE, One has gone
    to 107 Bty.
    Major Komrower tell us that Beeringen was bombed yesterday by jet-propelled
    aircraft flying at terrific speed. The bombing was noisy but inaccurate.
    During day we received an ORDER from HQ RA to go to Second Army Veh Pk to
    collect 2 Carriers and 1 M.14. Lieut Hutchinson went off about 1600 hrs
    and after a fruitless journey arrived back at 0400 hrs. Having located
    Second Army Veh Pk he found none of the vehs he went with authority to
    collect available.
    Page 8 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    14Recce parties left for new area at 0830 hrs.
    HQ RA inform us that we shall be moving at 1430 hrs to area Bourg Leopold
    RHQ move off at 1445 hrs cross Albert Canal at BEERINGEN and move into area
    277827 arriving about 1600 hrs (15 miles).
    289 Bty follow at end of Div HQ column and come into same area and deploy.
    The C.O. is anxious that rubber battle tracks are processed for two new
    M.10 X's and two new M.10s. The present practice is to send these
    replacement SPs with trg tracks and to deliver to units with these tracks.
    This practice necessitiates procuring of battle tracks and fitting by the
    unit. Usually much messing about and additional work all of which could be
    avoided by sending the vehs to operational theatres with operational tracks.
    However no tracks seem to be available at present owing to length of L of C.
    288 Bty with 231 Bde move up from BEERINGEN bridgehead preparatory to taking
    over Gds Armd Div bridgehead over Escaut Canal at 355960.
    288 Bty are now located at 227809 (SE Oostham).
    At 2200 hrs HQ RA inform us that 231 Bde with 288 Bty in support will be
    moving up tomorrow to take over protection of Gds bridgehead.
    Permission is granted for C.O. to concentrate Regt less 288 Bty in BOURG
    LEOPOLD area. 99 and 107 Btys may revert to Regtl comd at once and move up
    from other side of Albert Canal to this area tomorrow. Both btys to cross
    the Bailey Bridge in 69 Bde convoy.
    Reinforcements do not seem to be coming up and C.O. intends to visit BRA
    Second Army in BRUSSELS tomorrow to see what can be done about them.
    The Regt at the moment is about 55 O.Rs under establishment. The chief
    worry is NCOs. We are deficient of 12 Bdrs, 4 Sgts and 4 L/Sgts.
    Round figures do not indicate the situation accurately however. The Regt
    during many campaigns has had heavy drains on its personnel through
    casualties, and the stage has now been reached where there are no suitable
    Page 9 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    14 contdcandidates for promotion. 59 Div has recently been broken up to provide
    reinforcements and it is difficult to see where all their A TK gunners
    have gone. Another rft trouble at the moment is Dvr Mechs. Most of the
    Dvr Mechs received by the Regt during the last six months have been trained
    on wheeled vehs only and as our establishment calls for Dvr Mech drivers of
    tracked carriers the position is not satisfactory. The Regt has been
    continuously engaged since D Day and opportunities to convert the wheeled
    Dvr Mechs to Dvr Mechs AFV have not been presented.
    15Recce parties from 99 and 107 Btys arrive at our location at 1000 hrs.
    Concentration area for these two Btys is selected in area 3182 (Two miles
    East of BOURG LEOPOLD). The Btys move in about 1700 hrs. At 1100 hrs
    C.O. goes off to BRUSSELS to see BRA. He intends to call at Second Army
    Veh Park to find out situation there regarding replacements.
    At 1230 Major BARNETT attends CRA's conference where he is put in the
    picture with regard to future operations.
    HQ RA are moving forward nearer the bridgehead tomorrow in order to control
    Div Arty which will be taking part in a Corps shoot in sp of the Gds Armd
    Div when breakout from bridgehead starts. Div HQ are remaining here and
    as it is a purely Fd Arty affair RHQ is also remaining here and not moving
    up with HQ RA. 288 Bty today moved up with 231 Bde to take over and hold
    the Guards bridgehead while Gds continue to refit.
    288 Bty HQ location is now 327929.
    The composition of 30 Corps for the forthcoming battle is to be Gds Armd
    Div leading, followed by 43 Div, followed by 50 Div. 50 Div has under
    comd a Belgian Bde.
    Page 10 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    16Recce party went off from Regt at 0915 but returned from recce saying we
    were not moving to area they had set off to recce. HQRA moving only with
    Tac Div HQ to area VLASMER 3387.
    Major BARNETT attended a lecture by Army Comdr and Corps Comdr in the
    Cinema BOURG LEOPOLD at 1100 hrs. Subject - future operations.
    Orders received over telephone from HQRA stating that re-grouping has to
    be completed by 1800 hrs tomorrow and also that two towed gun btys of
    73 A Tk Regt come under our comd, i.e. 195 and 196 Btys. They are to
    travel under comd Rear Div Gp for movement and in sp for operations. Major
    KENYON of 196 visits C.O. during the of ternoon and is put the pieture.
    It is likely that Rear Div Gp will travel in two parts, i.e. Rear Div Gp
    and Admin Gp. One bty of 73 A TK will go with each. They will be netted
    in on our frequency.
    C.O. decides to send 289 Bty to 151 Bde Gp and to keep 107 Bty with Main
    Div Gp as 107 Bty have not yet had their losses of 5 Carriers replaced and
    are therefore not wholly operationally mobile. Major TRIPPIER of 289 Bty
    visits C.O. and is ordered to contact 151 Bde today and to concentrate in
    151 Bde's area tomorrow morning. 151 Bde are in area Kattenbosche 005925.
    Major MASTERS visits C.O. and is ordered to contact 69 Bde in area BEERINGEN.
    Major BARNETT visited 288 Bty who report a quiet day in the bridgehead.
    The C.O. returned today from his visits to Second Army Veh Pk and Second
    Army HQ in BRUSSELS where he saw BRA.
    The EME interviewed 16 of our recently posted DMs and found that 8 of them
    were totally unfit to be DMs. These men had been trained at various
    training establishments in England and posted as reinforcements. They had
    according to their own statements been pushed through and mustered
    irrespective of their qualifications The results of their examination by
    EME more than bear out their statements.
    At 0300 hrs tomorrow morning we put clocks back one hour and come on to
    Zone A time.
    Page 11 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    16 contdHQ RA informs us we are likely to move to area VLASMER 3387 tomorrow.
    We are informed by HQ RA that the probable order of next advance in
    30 Corps will be :-
    1) Guards Armd Div
    2) 43 Div
    3) 50 Div
    a) 69 Bde Gp 99 Bty
    b) Main Div Gp RHQ & 107 Bty
    c) 151 Bde Gp 289 Bty
    d) Rear Div Gp 196 Bty 73 A Tk
    e) 231 Bde Gp 288 Bty
    f) Admin Gp 195 Bty 73 A Tk
    17Signal received from Main 50 Div stating likely move today and recce parties
    went off at 0915.
    It was decided later that only HQ RA would move to now area in order to
    exercise control over the Div Arty which is to be shooting in a 30 Corps
    programme covering the Gds Armd Div breakout from the bridgehead 355960.
    Main Div HQ, Norbhumberland Hussars, 2 Cheshire HQ, 25 LAA HQ are to
    remain in present locations. Later Main Div HQ move but not the Regts.
    289 Bty move off at 0900 hrs to join 151 Bdo area KATTENBOSOHE.
    99 Bty move off at 1000 hrs to rejoin 69 Bde area BEERINGEN.
    288 Bty are still with 231 Bde and 107 Bty are remaining with RHQ. 107
    Bty are still deficient of 5 Carriers lost in recent GHEEL battle.
    195 and 196 Btys (both towed 17-prs) come under our command for operations
    although travelling with Rear Div and Admin Gps.
    Orders received from HQ RA to move as early as convenient on 18 Sep
    Capt E.R. ROBERTS comes to RHQ from his Bty to got orders for tomorrow's
    Page 12 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    17 contdmove and is told that 107 Bty are to move to area recced yesterday, area. 3590.
    Move to start at 0800 in small groups of vehicles. 5 Carrier drivers are
    however to report to RHQ - at 0830 to remain behind with to pick up
    replacement carriers.
    Two M. 10s, one Bty and one from 288 Bty were B.L.R'd and replaced
    by 2 drawn from 254 Corps Del Sqn on 14. We now hold only 16 M.10s.
    18107 Bty move off as arranged.
    RHQ move off at 0900, leaving behind Lt QM and parts of B Ech.
    Carrier dvrs report to Lt QM and party sets off to collect carriers.
    RHQ and 107 Bty are all in new location just South of LINDESCHE HUDE at
    MR 358906 by 1030 hrs.
    The party which had been sent off to 7 Armd Div Wksps in ANTWERP to collect
    one M.10 and the RHQ AA Crusader arrived back with the M.10 only as the
    Crusader was not ready.
    99 Bty arrive up with 69 Bde to area GENERORG 230808 SE BOURG LEOPOLD.
    During afternoon move further up to area 350912.
    288 Bty are located with 231 Bde in area 335928 East of KATTENBOSCHE.
    289 Bty in area 324944 (East of EINDE).
    During afternoon 288 Bty cross the bridge over the Escaut Canal with 231
    Bde and are located at 388035 (area HOCK).
    231 Bde extending the firm base of the bridgehead.
    151 Bde move behind 231 Bde to take over a bit of the extended bridgehead
    and give defensive depth to the defence and local protection of the bridge.
    One Bn being held in an immediate counter attack role on South side of
    Canal at DORTEREN. 289 Bty move their HQ slightly further North to
    area 337854.
    Page 13 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    18 contdAn enemy recce plane was reported over bridgehead area flying fast and low
    at about 1500 hrs.
    At 1730 hrs report received from 288 Bty that Major KOMROWER had been
    wounded and it was thought seriously. This was later confirmed and Major
    KOMROWER died of wounds in CCS at 389035.
    C.O. decides to send Major BALFOUR from 107 Bty back to comd 288 Bty if
    Major BALFOUR expresses a desire to return to 288 Bty. Probably as a
    result of recce during afternoon bombing of the whole bridgehead area by
    the enemy starts at about 1945 hrs. The bombing continues off and on for
    about 2 hours. It is estimated about 20 to 30 enemy planes used. Most
    of the bombs dropped were small anti-personnel. Total regtl casualties in
    personnel by the bombing were : RHQ - One wounded remained at duty.
    107 Bty - One wounded remained at duty.
    99 Bty - Three wounded (2 evacuated 1 remained at duty).
    107 Bty had two M/Cs and one Jeep slightly damaged and 99 Bty had about
    five vehicles damaged but all repairable within unit.
    HQ RA inform us that no move is likely tomorrow.
    19Lt QM HUTCHINSON arrives back from BOURG LEOPOLD with three replacement
    carriers. Only three were available. No M.14 was available.
    SC RA is informed and further efforts are made which result in our drawing
    later today two more carriers.
    107 Bty managed to salve one of their five lost so they are issued with
    four bringing them up to strength. The fifth one is sent to 99 Bty to
    replace one of theirs which has been on its way back from 69 Bde Wksps in
    charge of Gnr BIRD since 10 Sep and has not yet arrived.
    Page 14 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    19 contdIn tpt Regrt is now deficient of one M. 14, one 1-ton trailer and one 3-ton
    4 x 4 (4 X 2 presently held in lieu),six M/Cs. Endeavours are being made
    to receive a M.9 which is apparently available at Army Veh Pk, in lieu of
    Capt LESLIE went off to Corps Tk Del Sqn and returned with an M.10X. It is
    decided by C.O. to send this M.10x to 289 Bty and to withdraw RHQ one
    M.10. This will give 289 Bty one Tp of SPs consisting of 3 X M.10Xs and
    one M.10 3". The latest M.10X drawn has steel battle tracks as also has
    the latest M.10 drawn. The C.O. is definitely not in favour of these steel
    tracks as they are designed for SHERMANS which are five tons heavier than
    M.10s and consequently M.10 is too light to be properly controllable on
    road surfaces when fitted with these tracks.
    Arrangements are made for the change-over to rubber battle tracks to take
    place tomorrow and also to change over to rubber battle tracks one M.10
    which still has rubber training tracks.
    Lieut WARD (EME) goes off to ANTWERP at 1200 hrs to endeavour to rescue
    our Crusader.
    Two new subaltern reinforcements join the Regt. They are Lieut JACKSON and
    Lieut QUINTON. C.O. decides on the following:-
    Major Balfour from comd 107 to comd 288
    Lieut Di Castiglione from L.O. 288 to understudy Lieut
    Marriott as I.O. at RHQ.
    Lieut Jackson to 107.
    Lieut Quinton to 288.
    Capt C.R. PAINE to comd 107 Bty meantime pending arrival of a B.C. reputed
    to be on the way.
    A small force of enemy aircraft dropped one or two bombs in the area during
    the early evening.
    Page 15 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    20Btys and RHQ remain in same locations.
    All M.10s and M.10Xs are now fitted with Rubber Battle Tracks.
    HQ RA informs us that there is no likelihood of the Div moving today but it
    is likely that 69 Bde will move tomorrow.
    Very large numbers of Dakota aircraft passed over during the afternoon on
    their way to drop supplies and reinforcements to our Airborne TPS.
    21Lieut WARD (EME) returns from ANTWERP but still without our Crusader.
    Lt QM HUTCHINSON collects 15-cwt 4 X 2 GS and on Armd OP. These last two
    additions make the Regt more or less up to strength in vehicles. The 15-cwt
    is actually in lieu of a M.14 and is not nearly so useful but is better
    than nothing.
    HQ RA inform us that 69 Bde and the bridgehead detachment are likely to
    move today at 1245 hrs. 99 Bty informs us that the move is postponed
    until 1600 hrs at earliest.
    99 Bty no move today now likely 1730 hrs.
    2330 hrs. HQ RA inform us that 195 and 196 Btys likely to move tomorrow.
    220730 hrs. 99 Bty move off with 69 Bde towards ARNHEIM.
    The Bridgehead Detachment with I Tp of 99 Bty in support move with
    the Bde Gp.
    Major BARNETT returns from BRUSSELS with the NAAFI. Slightly better issue
    this week - 75 cigarettes per man and 1 1/2 bars of chocolate being the main
    issue. Spirits - half bottle per officer, W.O. and Sgt.
    At 1700 hrs a message is received from HQ RA saying 195 and 196 Btys are
    to revert to 30 Corps and are to make their way with all speed to MALDEN
    area 7050 where they are to report to 30 Corps. Head of first Bty is to
    Page 16 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    22 (contd)cross bridge at 1900 hrs. As these two btys have some 15 miles to do to
    get to the bridge and are not in W/T communication with us but are under
    Rear Div for movement it is pointed out to HQ RA that they cannot do it
    in the time. Two further difficult ties are :-
    (1) The road from South of BOURG LEOPOLD, where the btys are located, to
    the bridge is jammed with traffic and also the supply road (through
    the corridor to MALDEN is cut by the enemy in the neighbourhood of
    UEGHEL where the enemy is reported in some strength, a medium
    estimate being 700 inf supported by 40 tanks.
    1800 hrs. Major KENYON of 196 Bty visits RHQ and it is decided that he
    will take his place on the road and move up with the column as fast as he
    can. The net result of this is that the two Btys get the length of RHQ,
    i.e. about four miles short of the bridge and the column stops for the night.
    2300 hrs. HQ RA inform us that as the situation is so vague the Div Comd
    is going off in the morning about 0600 behind Div Recce Regt and is going
    to proceed towards VEGHEL to contact 101 American Airborne Div and clear
    up the situation. As the CRA is ill Lt-Col MATTHEWS DSO is to accompany
    the General and act as CRA. Movement tomorrow will take place as follows:
    times across the bridge.
    0545 61 Recce Regt
    0600 Div Comd's Tac
    0930 - Main Div
    1030 - 151 Bde
    231 Bde will move ahead of Main Div starting from present location five
    miles South of VALKENSWAARD at 0800.
    Orders are issued for RHQ to be ready to move behind HQ RA at 0830
    and 107 Bty to follow RHQ less two Tps 6-pr which are split up in
    sections throughout the column.
    Page 17 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    22 contd288 Bty with 231 Bde Gp.
    289 Bty with 151 Bde GP.
    Recce parties to report to HQ RA at 0630.
    230830 hrs. RHQ moves off to join coln behind HQRA.
    0915 hrs. RHQ joins coln and moves off.
    1230 hrs. RHQ arrives new location at 436223 (VLOKHOVEN),
    1300 hrs. Orders received to be ready to move off at 1430.
    1400 hrs. Orders received to move at 1430.
    CRA's Conference arranged for 1430 at Div HQ altered to take place at
    1400 hrs. Recce parties go off to recce new area South of ST OEDENRODE.
    No one moves off at 1430 and eventually at 1600 hrs the move is cancelled.
    The general position is very obscure. The enemy are still across the
    road at VEGHEL. A Regt of the Gds Armd is to attack from the direction
    of LIDEN (i.e. from the N.E.) and 101 American Airborne is to attack from
    S.W.. 15 Scottish Div on our immediate left is to attack and take BEST
    at 3726 pushing on towards BEXTEL. Meanwhile on our right 11 Armd Div
    is to take HELMOND 5522.
    About 1600 hrs there is much air activity and many hundreds of Dakota
    aircraft towing gliders pass over us heading North and N.W.
    The day which started by being very wet has cleared up and by 1400 hrs
    it is dry with bright intervals.
    At 1730 hrs Lt-Col BRIGHT of 21 Army Group calls at RHQ to see C.O. and
    discuss M.10 problems. The C.O. brings up the following main points:-
    1) Bogie trouble (excessive wear).
    2) Lack of radiator protection.
    3) Lack of overhead cover.
    4) Unsuitability of Steel Battle Tracks.
    Page 18 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    23 contd5) Delivery of SPs with training tracks necessitating
    unit drawing battle tracks and fitting.
    6) Swapping of 3" pieces for 17-pr.
    7) Non-delivery of DMs AFV.
    69 Bde Gp got split up during the move and 7 Green Howards are at present
    (1800 hrs) on this side of VEGHEL while remainder of Bde is on the other
    side with the road cut in between.
    One TP of 99 Bty with 2 x M.10s under comd of Capt SPENCE are with 7 Green
    Howards while remainder of Bty is out of touch with Capt SPENCE and with
    main body of 69 Bde and the Bridgehead Det.
    195 and 196 Btys which had been in coln which was held up to allow 50 Div
    coln to pass are taken under our comd again and 195 Bty is supporting 231
    Bde while 196 Bty with 107 Bty is in our area.
    Btys are deployed as follows :-
    289 Bty with 231 Bde in area East of main road BREUGEL 4526.
    195 Bty - One TP sp of 231 Bde and two Tps sp of 7 Green Howards
    on West of road in area ZON 4426.
    One Tp 6-prs and two M.10s 99 Bty in sp 7 Green Howards
    same area.
    288 Bty - in support of 151 Bde in area NEDERWETTEN 4623 (East of
    196 Bty - One Tp in sp of 151 Bde area as above.
    Two Tps in support of 107 Bty covering area West of road
    VLOKHOVEN 4322.
    At 2000 hrs C.O. attends conference at Div HQ.
    C.O. is still doing duties of CRA who is unwell.
    At 0400 hrs road open again and Capt SPENCE's half of 99 Bty move off
    with Green Howards up to VEGHEL and thence to join 69 Bde in area
    NIJMEGEN. 195 Bty revert to 30 Corps and are ordered to move up road
    behind Green Howards Gp. 196 Bty remains under our comd.
    Very wet.
    Page 19 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    24231 Bde attacks N.E. across ZUIDWILLEMSVAAT CANAL and succeeds in taking
    ERP. 288 Bty in sp 231 Bde.
    1131 hrs. Main Div HQ move to new area wood S.E. of OEDENRODE 466295 -
    reach new location about 1330 hrs. Still wet.
    During afternoon enemy attack S,E. from SCHINED and succeeds in cutting
    road at 450344 and established themselves in woods East of the road in
    area 465335.
    107 Bty deploy area 45314631 facing NW.
    9 D.L.I. move up from NEDINVELLEN area to area 4930.
    Very noisy and uncomfortable night with the enemy machine-gunning, shelling
    and mortaring the road and general area OEDENRODE.
    196 Bty in area ZON with two guns covering road South of OEDENRODE.
    Five guns covering western approaches to road NEIMEL/ZON and four guns
    at ZON.
    250600 hrs. Situation on road still obscure and road still cut.
    By 0900 hrs head of 7 Armd Div reaches OEDENRODE to deal with the
    situation i.e. to clear the road and attack in the direction of SCHINNEL
    supported by a bn of 101 American Airborne Div.
    9 D.L.I. move from area 4930 to area 4632 and send patrols North and N.E.
    each patrol being supported by an M.10 from 289 Bty.
    1500 hrs. 288 Bty location 522363 (North of ERP).
    A noisy day and by nightfall road still not open.
    A conference was held at Main Div HQ during the morning at which the
    following were presents-
    C-in-C 21 Army Group
    Second British Army Commander and
    Commanders of 30 Corps, 8 Corps and 12. Corps.
    Page 20 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    25 contd196 Bty moved two more guns to OEDENRODE area and now have a complete 17-pr
    TP covering approaches into OEDENRODE from North and N.W.
    260700 hrs. 231 Bde with 288 Bty in sp move from present area ERP to area
    VOLKEL 5640 to take over protection of route North via BOCKEL - VOLKEL -
    MILL (HEART route).
    1145 hrs. 288 Bty report their location as 558415 (North of VOLKEL). 107 and 289 Btys no change.
    7 Armd Div continue attack towards SCHIENDEL and by mid-afternoon traffic
    is again passing up the road which is under spasmodic shell-fire.
    Recce parties from Main Div HQ move off to recce new area in area BOKEL
    5736. HQ RA inform us that move to new area likely to take place tomorrow
    and that 196 Bty will probably revert to under comd 30 Corps.
    The weather is still cold but there has only been a few heavy showers today.
    27231 Bde move with 288 Bty to area MILL 6445. 151 Bde move with 289 Bty to
    area VOLKEL 5640.
    1130 hrs. Main Div HQ moves to area BOEKEL 5536 arriving new location
    1300 hrs. Route LIESHOUTE - BECK - GEMERT - BOEKEL (HEART route
    now known as TRIANGLE route).
    1315 hrs. Capt SPENCE visits RHQ having come down from MALDEN 7055. He
    reports that 99 Bty are "quite happy" and are at present located over the
    river at NIJMEGEN, at 696671 in sp of 69 Bde who are extending the
    bridgehead corridor to the East and N.E. He reports that the cutting of
    the road at various times has caused them to eat down their four days
    reserve rations and that today they were on their last day, but an RASC
    Supply Coln got through this morning with a further two days. The Bty
    (99) has had two casualties, both wounded (DM INGHAM and D/OP JENNINGS)
    Page 21 of 21
    PlaceDateHourSummary of Events and InformationReferences to Appendices
    27 contdboth newly joined.
    107 Bty are deployed in Div HQ area facing West and N.W. Bty HQ is at
    553365. RHQ location is 551361. Bty locations are
    99 Bty - 696671
    107 Bty - 553364
    288 Bty - 631434
    289 Bty - 561397
    HQ RA informs us move unlikely tomorrow.
    Very wet.
    28RHQ and all Btys remain in same locations.
    Wet day with short bright intervals.
    Two new officers arrived today, both from 68 A Tk Regt, which has been
    disbanded. They are T/Maj T.A. WIGGLESWORTH and T/Maj A.T.F. STALLARD.
    Former is to take ones 99 Bty latter 107 Bty
    29No change in locations of RHQ or Btys.
    Two bns of 231 Bde pushed out N.E. and East from MILL and patrols reached
    the line of the R. MEUSE. Two 6-pr Tps of 288 Bty move in sp but Bty HQ
    and Bde HQ remains in present locations. No opposition was encountered.
    Wet, cold day.
    30No change in locations.
    Fine clear sky. 1400 hrs. Recce parties called for by HQ RA. Recce area but do not find
    a suitable place and return after dark at 1930 hrs.
    2000 hrs. Instructions for recce parties to RV at 0700 hrs
    Div HQ will move tomorrow at 0830 hrs. Bty will be split up through the
    coln for local protection.